2013: What a fantastic year for PureView!
No idea how many posts I wrote in 2013, but I know it has been a very busy and exciting year for the PureViewClub! And for Nokia even more so, no doubt...
The Fins gave us just about everything they had, although it took them a bit longer than I hoped for to announce the 41MP Lumia, which announcement I hoped for during the Mobile World Congress in February. That brought us the Nokia Lumia 720 - not officially "PureView", but still with a remarkable camera. And Nokia appeared to have many more exciting devices this year!
In this post I will scroll through this year's posts and link to what I think of as "highlights". If you're a new visitor of the club, you might find it practicle to check what you might have missed earlier on as well.
Early in 2013, I shot the first of my Nokia Time Warp series, with the epic Nokia Lumia 7650. In these "Time Warps" I unpack old Nokia devices in (near) mint condition, to capture the excitement of unpacking a "brand new" device with a high-end PureView smartphone - be it the Nokia 808 or a new Lumia. Yes, it might be a bit of a funny concept, but it kept me busy for 13 editions this year, the last (for now) being the 8800 Sirocco Gold edition (you'll find all other editions from there :-)
To lively up this post a bit, here's the first recording I made in 2013 with the Nokia 808 PureView, from a band playing at the radiostation where I work. You'll see Organ Tonation playing live and really loud, but as always Rich Recording knows how to handle that... (post here, but you just might want to continu reading while listening to the music :-)
Already in January, The Verge came with the first rumour of what was then called the Nokia EOS. Shortly after, Nokia announced the Nokia 808 PureView would indeed be the very last device running on Symbian. That inspired me to write a long essay about the device as an " Epitaph for Symbian" - a long story that will even take you back to 1984...
There have been some rants in 2013 as well. Like when HTC publishes an incredible amout of crap in its Brief History of Photography. Later I wrote how Nokia proved to be HTC's biggest inspiration for the HTC One. And while I'm at it, I might as well point you to HTC using the Nokia HAAC+ microphones without permission in the very same HTC One. To this day, Nokia is winning just about all their battles in international courtrooms over this and other Nokia patents HTC appears to have violated.
Another rant was reserved for Nokia, when I wrote about how the company really is a hard act to follow sometimes, making fantastic hardware but forgetting to make that widely available for consumers, like their fantastic Purity Pro Bluetooth headset.
Back to photography, here's the post about a shot by Abdul Rehman that inspired me to start writing about the " vertical panorama". I was happy to spot a few other talented mobile photographers last year, like Ms. Jen, and like Paul Waby, who decided to make at least one shot every day in 2013. Not sure if he actually managed to do so, but you will find his shots on Flickr. While I'm at it, let me mention the astonishing shots of Daniel Cheong as well.
I looked for interesting subjects myself to capture with the Nokia 808 PureView, and in March I found those at Ferrari. If you want to get real close to these gorgeous cars, look at the posts with the Ferrari crops here and here. But if you want to keep it more simple and a lot more difficult at the same time, check out how to shoot the moon with the Nokia 808 PureView.
I started experimenting with the HDR App on the Lumia 920, with several smartphones I shared some nice night shots from a hotel in Crete, where I recorded some beautiful flowers with both the Nokia 808 PureView and the Samsung Galaxy S4.
But also, I was waiting for the next PureView device, which was announced in May with the launch of the Nokia Lumia 925 and Nokia Smart Camera (a contribution by Mayuri Mehrotra, one of the great friends I have come to know thanks to the Club).
Meanwhile, I could share some interesting low light shots I captured in the
French Champagne caves of George Cartier in full resolution.
In June, I celebrated the fact I was the first private person using the Nokia 808 PureView for a year. Later that month we finally got the confirmation that the next Lumia device would support the 41MP sensor we all love so much, with 41 million reasons to zoom in to Nokia Conversations on July 11th.
Checking the archives, I now see I felt more or less obliged to write why I thought it would be essential to bring the 41MP sensor to Lumia. But many visitors appeared to be loving Symbian and hating Windows Phone so much they inspired me to write how Haters gonna hate.
Don't think I didn't have a lot of fun at the Club though - like dedicating post no. 808 to the No Less Than Epic Nokia 3310, with a shot that even turned into somewhat of an internet meme...
Nokia Lumia 1020
In July, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore was the one to inadvertedly publish the first Nokia Lumia 1020 shots online. It made for quite some excitement, since obviously, everybody was waiting to see what the next high-end Lumia camera would be capable of.
On July 11 it was D-Day - the official announcement of the Nokia Lumia 1020 in New York. I was invited (yay) but couldn't make it (meh), so I was extremely proud to be able to share my first own shots of it, all specs and even its accessories that very same day. Heck, the club even made it to " Blog Star of the Week" over at Nokia Conversations a few days later :-)
By August, I was very happy to receive a prototype of the Nokia Lumia 1020 to start working with. I made four comparisons with the 808 PureView (the first being in a small harbour) and I made several comparisons with six smartphone cameras (including the 1020, of course). And I shared some nice results from Nokia Pro Camera and Zoom Reinvented.
I started a new (slow) series with interviews as well this year, starting with mobile photographer Richard Dorman (aka @Sheridan01), a second with Juha Alakarhu (Head of Imaging Technologies at Nokia), who is very well-known among the visitors of the club. Third was Harald Meyer, mobile imaging application developer.
And speaking of well-known, here's my video of Nile Rodgers I had the chance to capture with Chic from a ridicilously close distance with both the Lumia 1020 as 808 PureView. How different from many stars with way less hits and fame than Nile Rodgers, he appeared to love all smartphones pointed to the stage. I only captured some fragments, since I was too busy enjoying the music :-)
One of the most succesful posts of this year was written by Damian Dinning, former Head of Imaging Technologies at Nokia. Damian wrote his feedback on the Nokia Lumia 1020 and there were no less than 131 reactions to his post. I was extremely honored he chose the PureViewClub to share his vision on the Nokia Lumia 1020 with the world.
But fair is fair - although it won an impressive amount of blindfold tests and prestigious rewards, the Nokia Lumia 1020 wasn't welcomed by everyone and even I wondered: was it really the New King of Camphones? Hardware didn't seem to be very consistent in the first batch and there are many - more professionally interested - mobile photographers criticizing its saturation and sharpness.
Mentioning this, I shouldn't forget my new New-Zealand friend Bigley Ling, who has been very critical about the imaging quality of the Nokia Lumia 1020 at the club this year, and who has written several posts here as well.
Now Nokia is promising much improvement coming with the "Black" update, and we can already see what it does with the imaging of the Nokia Lumia 1520: natural colors, lower noise.
And - whoops, I did it again - the PureViewClub was the first blog where you could read all (!) the specifications on the day the Lumia 1520 was launched.
Also, with the Black update, Nokia will unleash raw .DNG on the Nokia Lumia 1020 - you can read what that means in a post written by another great friend, Pixel Peter: " RAW, the holy grail of smartphone photography". Pretty soon after, the first raw shots from the Nokia Lumia 1020 were shared by Nokia.
A month ago, you could also read my first experiences with the Nokia Lumia 1520 I was extremely happy to receive. Yes - Size does matter. Soon, I was able to share a detailed comparison of shots from the Nokia Lumia 1020 vs Lumia 1520.
All the way from New Zealand, Nokia shared a couple of nice shots from the Lumia 1020 on Black. And Black is really closing in, AT&T and Nokia just released it in the US, so it's just a matter of time before we may expect it elsewhere.
As for the Nokia Lumia 1520, I really love working with it, as you can see in my day and night shots from Amsterdam. But that post is from less than two weeks ago, so it's the last I will link to in this post. I'm sure you'll understand that no doubt this has been the most exciting year since I opened the PureViewClub.
I want to thank you for visiting, for reacting, for being positive and critical about whatever is happening here at the club. Please spread the word that the club is open 24/7, entrance is free and all posts are on the house as well. Don't forget to pay the Forum a visit and register if you like it over there - that's free as well!
I would appreciate a tip for all the bartender's work over here though. If you think what I'm doing is worth more than just your time, hit the donate button at the right hand side of this page. Also, if you leave a tip there, I'll add you to the sponsors here...
Let me conclude this post by wishing you a very Merry Christmas!